Interested in safety glass for the windows or doors in your home? Laminated glass is a common choice for residential applications but it’s not the only choice.
You may already know about the benefits of tempered glass so in this post you’ll learn more about laminated windows–construction, benefits, drawbacks, and costs. By the end, you’ll be able to decide which safety glass is the right choice for your home.
LEARN MORE: What are tempered glass windows?
Laminated glass is a type of safety glazing constructed by uniting two sheets of glass with a sturdy interlayer and applying heat and pressure to create an inseparable bond.
This process makes the glass less likely to break out of the frame and it’s less of a threat when broken.
Laminated glass was invented by accident(↗) and eventually patented for use in cars to reduce injuries from accidents. Today it’s commonly used in windows for tall buildings, skylights, and frameless glass railings.
It’s also commonly requested by homeowners who live near golf courses to protect the home from the impact of golf balls and by those who live near airports to reduce the sound of airplanes overhead.
Standards are set by the National Glass Association(↗), check with your local code for additional regulations or clarification.
Any doors made of glass — sliding, French, or shower doors — are all always made with safety glass.
Benefits of laminated glass windows
Drawbacks of laminated glass windows
Let's talk more about the benefits of laminated windows. Homeowners who choose laminated glass windows for their residences do so because of the added sense of safety and security.
Laminated glass is a strong barrier against forced entry. The interlayer keeps glass in place in the event that the glass is broken and it's resistant to glasscutters.
Cardinal Glass Industries(↗) is the manufacturer for the majority of laminated glass sold for windows. Their "glass meets rigorous industry codes, including the American Society of Testing Materials standard for preventing forced entry (ASTM F1233) and the burglary resistant guidelines issued by Underwriters Laboratories (UL972)."
Laminated glass can also give you a sense of serenity by reducing the transmission of unwanted outside sounds. Whether it is the sound of traffic, airports, railroads, or even neighbors chatting, if it's unwanted you can greatly reduce outdoor/indoor transmission with laminated windows. Lots of homeowners consider laminated glass when their primary concern is noise reduction, for noise reduction we typically recommend dissimilar glass as a more cost-effective option, learn more in What is Dissimilar Glass?
Additionally, laminated glass also protects floors, furniture, and fabrics from fading. How? Well, laminated glass blocks UV rays preventing it from discoloring the parts of your home that it reaches. According to Cardinal Glass, laminated glass blocks over 95% of UV energy while still letting lots of visible light pass through.
The cost of a laminated window is going to depend on the size and thickness of the glass and the manufacturer. To give you an idea of the cost difference between tempered glass and laminated glass consider one of our standard (36x72) single hung vinyl windows.
Tempered Single Hung Vinyl Window - $325
.090 Laminate Single Hung Vinyl Window - $497
.030 Laminate Single Hung Vinyl Window - $374
Here are three occasions when you should choose laminated glass instead of tempered according to Larry Patterson, President of Glass Doctor DFW(↗).
Customers should choose laminated glass instead of tempered glass when they:
The majority of windows in residential applications contain standard glass. If you’re considering laminated windows for your home consider whether it is required by code and its cost and value compared to tempered windows.
Remember, not all windows will need or be required to have safety glass. If you're searching for replacement windows or installing new patio doors, consult with a professional before making your final decision.
If you’re in the process of building or upgrading your home you may have already been asked to choose some safety glass for some of your windows and doors. This article will review the differences between tempered glass and laminated glass.